Barry, Brunonia The Lace Reader

ISBN 13: 9780007307371

The Lace Reader

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9780007307371: The Lace Reader

Drawn by family. Driven by fear. Haunted by fate. Would knowing the future be a gift or a burden? Or even a curse!? The Whitney women of Salem, Massachusetts are renowned for reading the future in the patterns of lace. But the future doesn't always bring good news -- as Towner Whitney knows all too well. When she was just fifteen her gift sent her whole world crashing to pieces. She predicted -- and then witnessed -- something so horrific that she vowed never to read lace again, and fled her home and family for good. Salem is a place of ghosts for Towner, and she swore she would never return. Yet family is a powerful tie. So it is that fifteen years later, Towner finds herself back in Salem. Her beloved Great Aunt Eva has suddenly disappeared -- and when you've lived a life like Eva's, that could mean real trouble. But Salem is wreathed in sickly shadows and whispered half-memories. It's fast becoming clear that the ghosts of Towner's fractured past have not been brought fully into the light. And with them comes the threat of terrifying new disaster. A literary page-turner with depth, narrative power and a story that novels like 'The Thirteenth Tale' can only dream of, 'The Lace Reader' is a bewitching and tightly plotted read.

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Review:

Amazon Best of the Month, August 2008: Brunonia Barry dreamt she saw a prophecy in a piece of lace, a vision so potent she spun it into a novel. The Lace Reader retains the strange magic of a vivid dream, though Barry's portrayal of modern-day Salem, Massachusetts--with its fascinating cast of eccentrics--is reportedly spot-on. Some of its stranger residents include generations of Whitney women, with a gift for seeing the future in the lace they make. Towner Whitney, back to Salem from self-imposed exile on the West Coast, has plans for recuperation that evaporate with her great-aunt Eva's mysterious drowning. Fighting fear from a traumatic adolescence she can barely remember, Towner digs in for answers. But questions compound with the disappearance of a young woman under the thrall of a local fire-and-brimstone preacher, whose history of violence against Whitney women makes the situation personal for Towner. Her role in cop John Rafferty's investigation sparks a tentative romance. And as they scramble to avert disaster, the past that had slipped through the gaps in Towner's memory explodes into the present with a violence that capsizes her concept of truth. Readers will look back at the story in a new light, picking out the clues in this complex, lovely piece of work. -- Mari Malcolm

From the Back Cover:

Every gift has a price . . .

Every piece of lace has a secret . . .

My name is Towner Whitney. No, that's not exactly true. My real first name is Sophya. Never believe me. I lie all the time . . .

Towner Whitney, the self-confessed unreliable narrator of The Lace Reader, hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in the patterns in lace, and who have guarded a history of secrets going back generations, but the disappearance of two women brings Towner home to Salem and the truth about the death of her twin sister to light.

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Barry, Brunonia
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